DREAMING YOUR WHOLE AND HEALTHY FAMILY
What is your dream, your vision of how you want your family to be? Do you have one? If you have one have you shared it with your partner and the rest of your family? Have you taken the time to firmly anchor your vision by discussing it, agreeing to it, committing to making it real, and living it? The vast majority of people will answer ‘no’ to those questions for our cultures do not teach that we can create anything and that creation starts from within, not by acquiring the things we believe will create what we want.
If you desire to have a whole and healthy family then I suggest you begin your quest to create that and you can begin the quest for creating a whole and healthy family by talking about the EXPERIENCE you want to have with your family. What do you want to feel like when you are with family? What do you want your partner to experience; your children to experience; your siblings and parents? In this vision, when you wake up in the morning how do you want to feel about seeing your family members? What emotional environment do you want your children and others to experience as they grow? What support do you want to feel and offer in this vision? How do you want to be treated? How do the others in your family want to be treated? How do you want to feel when communicating? If conflict arises, how do you want to experience resolving the conflict? What is important for your children to experience of themselves and how do you envision supporting that experience to be created?
ANY CREATION STARTS WITH A DREAM. IF YOU WANT A WHOLE AND HEALTHY FAMILY THEN DREAM IT FIRST. THE KEY is, however, to be sure that there is a strong VISION that is discussed, agreed to, committed to and ACTED UPON; starting with the parents and, through living this commitment, suffused within the family environment so that the children know it.
That being said, yes I do believe that there are foundational elements that are essential in this creation and I will effort to address many of those. But remember, these are my essential elements – yours may be different.
1. Love. Love certainly is, in my view, the most important. Loving self, loving others, providing nurturing love to self and others ALWAYS is the foundation of any creation of a whole and healthy self and a whole and healthy family.
2. Heal self. Whole and healthy families are made up of whole and healthy individuals. Therefore, each member creating a whole and healthy self is critical and must be worked on constantly until each has healed all of their own issues and wounds. This does not mean that the family must wait until all have reached this sometimes elusive goal but the act of taking on personal responsibility for healing creates, in and of itself, an essential element in creating the whole.
3. Respect all. This means that you respect each other AND yourself for being human with certain knowledge that being human is not to be perfect but to make mistakes and to learn from mistakes. Even if you do not respect another’s behavior (and that is certainly understandable) you still can continue to respect the humanity of the one who is doing the behavior. Remember that negative behavior comes from some wound, most often hidden, that has resulted in this behavior. Humans have tended to use pain to try to change another’s behavior, whether that pain is in reactive anger or punishment inflicted on the person. This is not respect but rather the use of the same pain that one carries within self.
4. Support uniqueness. Most want to be viewed as “normal” which invites trying to control everything that impacts how they are viewed – including family members. This often is the greatest influence of discord within the family. If each were to embrace and support their own uniqueness and their own abilities (and we all have abilities) they would also embrace and support the uniqueness of each within a family. Celebrate each other’s uniqueness with joy and passion.
5. Passion. Live life with passion and infuse that energy within your family. Love life. Love the hurdles you create and the learning that comes from them. Find something to love in everyone and everything you encounter. Love loving itself. Do this with fire in your heart!
6. Joy. Live life with joy in your heart. This comes from living in the moment and letting go of the past. It comes from letting go of judgment and condemnation of others and finding learning, humor and laughter in all things. In living this joy you share it with others, especially your family and that sharing invites others to live in that same joy.
7. Compassion. When you allow yourself to view life with compassionate eyes you begin to see in others their humanity and greatness instead of their faults and imperfections. While most understand this intellectually, few embrace it or practice it for it first requires one to be compassionate towards themselves. Practice this compassion for self by letting go of judgment.
I encourage you all, no matter what your family structure is – with or without kids, older kids versus younger kids, kids in trouble or kids who are not, and so forth – to create a VISION of what you want your family to be, feel like and to act like. Take the time to write your own story or verbally paint the picture of your own “whole and healthy family.” Take the time to do this for it is your vision. If you give this vision only scant effort the result will be a scant result. Visioning requires creating such a firm effort that the final result is grounded into all that you are as a family. Continue to discuss and modify this vision. Continue to act on this vision. Continue to make this at least a weekly discussion until you all feel it as part of you. Will you take as much time as is necessary for this to be created?